By Rich McKay, Reuters
A truck driver and the trucking company he worked for were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday in connection with a 2015 crash that killed five Georgia nursing students, according to court records and local media.
Driver John Wayne Johnson and Mississippi-based trucking company, Total Transportation, were indicted on five counts each of first-degree homicide by vehicle, along with other charges, according to court records as well as a copy of Johnson’s indictment which was posted online by local broadcaster WFXG.
Georgia State Police said Johnson was driving a Total Transportation tractor-trailer on Interstate 16 near Savannah when he failed to stop, causing a wreck involving five cars and another tractor-trailer.
Johnson later admitted in court depositions that he was texting while driving, broadcaster WSAV-TV said.
Five nursing students from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro were killed. They were in their first year of nursing school and were traveling to a training session in Savannah, according to university officials.
Those killed were Abbie DeLoach, Caitlyn Baggett, Emily Clark, Catherine McKay Pittman and Morgan Bass, all of Georgia.
Total Transportation representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. Johnson also could not be reached on Wednesday evening. (Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Andrew Hay)